From Wasatch Boulevard in Salt Lake City, drive east on 3800 South into Mill Creek Canyon for a total of about 3.5 miles to the trailhead on the south side of the road.
Trails Illustrated's Wasatch Front/Strawberry Valley. For USGS topographic maps, ask for Sugar House, Mount Aire, and Park City West.
Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Salt Lake Ranger District, 6944 South 3000 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84121; (801) 943-1794.
For anyone wanting to experience the full extent of the Mount Olympus Wilderness, pack up and head out on the Desolation Trail. A well maintained path, the trail climbs out of Mill Canyon on a series of relatively easy switchbacks reaching, in less than two miles, an overlook of the city. From there it meanders up a canyon to a small saddle. Rest here because a long series of switchbacks lie between the saddle and the next pass. From the pass, the hike runs up and down on its way to Dog Lake just outside the eastern boundary of the wilderness. Unlike most mountain lakes, Dog Lake lies in the middle of a forested area instead of a cirque. From Dog Lake its fairly easy going to Desolation Lake. Desolation Lake sits in a picturesque mountain cirque and serves as a perfect terminus to a long hike. From Desolation, you can retrace your steps to the vehicle, or choose a couple of shorter trails that lead south into Big Cottonwood Canyon and, if you've thought ahead, a second vehicle.
Information courtesy of Buck Tilton, author of Utah Hiking.
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